As illustrated in the image below, the market capitalization of the top 10 cryptocurrencies in March 2018 ranged from $3.3 billion for IOTA in tenth place, up to $137.3 billion for market leader Bitcoin. That makes Bitcoin more than 40 times bigger than IOTA, three times bigger than its nearest competitor Ethereum, and larger than the combined market capitalization of all the cryptocurrencies in the top 10.
Even though Bitcoin is currently the dominant player in the market, and the one that receives the most media attention, it doesn’t mean that the others aren’t important. At present, Bitcoin doesn’t have smart contract capabilities like Ethereum and therefore can’t be used to create a decentralized application (DApp).
In this series of articles, I am going to take a look at each of the top 10 crypto tokens in turn, starting with IOTA.
What is IOTA?
It’s a distributed ledger using a quantum-proof blockless system known as the Tangle. Most cryptocurrencies use proof of work or proof of stake to validate transactions, but IOTA’s Tangle is a unique implementation allowing for an unlimited number of transactions per second and no fees. Tangle does this with a directed acyclic graph (DAG), and it’s covered in detail in their whitepaper.
The emphasis for IOTA is to provide a secure channel to connect Internet of Things (IoT) devices. These devices are hardware units with inbuilt microprocessors that can be controlled remotely, via the internet. Some IoT devices that you might already be aware of include FitBit, Raspberry Pi, Oculus Rift and Nest.
IOTA in depth
Dominik Schiener co-founded IOTA in 2015 with David Sønstebø, Sergey Ivancheglo, and Serguei Popov. With their roots in Berlin, and their partnerships with Bosch and VW, they are seen by some as a German cryptocurrency, but they also have offices in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Chicago, USA. IOTA is run by a non-profit organization known as the IOTA Foundation. They are currently working on a mobile and desktop wallet known as Trinity. Trinity was formerly known as the UCL wallet as it’s being developed by the University College London (UCL) and lead developer Charlie Varley.
IOTA has a fixed number of tokens at 2.8 million, known as Gi, and they were distributed via an ICO in late 2015. The ICO raised the equivalent of 1337 BTC, and none of the tokens were made available to the developers. The all-time high for IOTA was in December 2017 at $5.31 and in late March 2018, it was trading at $1.20. The tokens can be traded on at least 20 crypto exchanges, and the top 5 by volume together with the trading pair are:
- Binance IOTA/BTC
- Bitfinex MIOTA/USD
- OKEx IOTA/BTC
- Coinone IOTA/KRW
- OKEx IOTA/USDT
Latest rumors on Twitter are that IOTA has been developing smart contract functionality as a competitor to Ethereum and NEO. Up-to-date information regarding IOTA can be found via the following social media networks.
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Financial analyst, smartphone app designer, technical writer, and crypto enthusiast. Blockchain verified graduate of MOOC 9, DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies, run by the University of Nicosia.